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How did it end up like this (brit wres scene)


Kfogg1991

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I don’t know. Some probably do. I don’t mean this in too derogatory a sense, but much of these guys are lifelong fans (maybe even marks 😬), just to be wrestling in a ring with the WWE logo on the turnbuckles blowing their minds. After Eddie Dennis got signed, he did a few promos on the whole quitting the teacher thing to chase the dream and now he’s signed with WWE. Fair play to the guy, pretty cool story and well done on risking it and gaining a secure pay from the wrestling gig. But they’d kind of come across in a “fucking made it ain’t i” way, when in reality, bloody everyone and his dog had been signed by WWE up to this point and he was one of the later guys and they were all hidden away on the shows nobody sees, not exactly main eventing WrestleMania. But not a knock on these guys, I’d be quite pleased with the situation myself and as mentioned by someone else, just being there, in the company, networking, etc there’s a world of potential to what they could go on and do.

To the original posts point though and touching on PROGRESS, if you followed them from quite early on it was quite hilarious to see they’re attitude toward WWE change from their days in the garage to not being able to contain they’re fangirling when they wanted to feature a CWC Classic qualifier on one of their shows.

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I didn't expect anything else than being called a mark or not understanding that people have families and kids....of course i understand and take that into consideration jesus. 

What I'm saying is 3 years ago we had a scene that many other places were jelous of. The best thing about it and the part that made me proud was everyone coming together and saying we are proud to be independent and anything that was going on in wwe wasn't a touch on the constant 4/5 star shows we were getting week in week out.  

To go from having such a public ethos of defend indy wrestling and 2 years later signing on the dotted line on a contract that states they can buy you out tomorrow if they want is so disappointing for a group of loyal fans that belived in everything you once stated you stand for again and again.

Progress going from being everybody welcome and don't be a dick to moving shows and letting the wwe dictate who can appear on the show...who can wrestle who....and who is allowed to win against who......

 

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PROGRESS has been garbage since the WWE affiliation really started kicking in. Hot garbage. They weren't ever going to sustain their initial popularity regardless, but the "punk rock pro wrestling" jumping into bed with the corporate machine of WWE really accelerated the whole process.

I have no issue with wrestlers from the scene jumping onto contracts. For most of these guys starting out, the idea of sustaining wrestling as a full-time occupation would've been a pipe dream, so it's easy to see why it's such an alluring offer. However, it's hard to deny that the scene has been damaged massively by the knock-on effects caused by these contracts. Recurring storylines and matches, a massive loss of talent, depleted looking cards and subsequently attendances, the whole "in-fighting" from the INDEPENDENT vs WWE lot which can fuck off into the sea, regardless of it being carried out as a storyline or as a shoot or whatever. 

In essence, it's good for the guys who are now making a proper living, but it's turned the industry into the worst it's been for a good number of years.

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I wonder whether greater exposure via better online marketing gave existing fans the false notion that the British scene was suddenly booming. The production values for a lot of the bigger UK promotions are noticeably improved these past few years, but are there any stats (yeah, yawn, I know) that show the audience has actually grown? Aren't they all competing for the wallets of the same bunch of hardcores? All Star and BoB still subsist on camp shows. WAW has the same groups of fans keeping numbers up. Last I heard, Progress has a season ticket system. But local halls still aren't being filled. The UK contingent of fans flood to the States on Mania weekend, but UK WWE tapings are still flogging tickets til bell time. WOS wasted TV time on athleticismz WOW, Alex Shane's widows peak and gingerly executed stunt shows instead of actually making audiences give a shit about the workers. As much as we in the bubble see britwres apparently growing, it feels like it's just brighter lights being shone on it. There's no breakout crossover stars either around or being built. Even WWE's Finn Balor looks like a geek touring a soap opera set. As much as it gets reiterated that kayfabe is dead, I don't think it'll be til a nationwide UK promotion finds an intelligent charismatic star with an air of legitimate toughness that britwres will truly break through. Until then, we are just looking at nicer-looking slices of the same old pie.

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Progress have always been fairly hypocritical in what they stand for. They started out not having any female wrestlers on their cards because they only supposedly intended on showcasing quality wrestling and seemingly no females qualified. The first female that made it onto their shows, in the form of a valet, received the same kind of heat that of Francine in ECW and lead to her being beat up by both Doug Williams and Dave Mastiff in a match. Unsurprisingly, the angle received a big negative backlash and the response was not to book her again.

Recognising the changes in society and the attitudes of a lot of their fanbase as well as presumably realising they’d lucked out with their choice of brand name, they began painting themselves as this “everybody welcome” super progressive, forward thinking company when they really were anything but that when they “started from the bottom”.

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I haven't been to shows for a little while but every London show I've been to seems to always have the exact same people at them. It's not really a growing fanbase, just people going to 3 shows a month instead of 2. I stopped going to Progress over two years ago and haven't missed it. It feels like the same card with the same matches every month and Jim Smallmans smug fucking face making the same jokes. 

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1 hour ago, Kfogg1991 said:

 

Progress going from being everybody welcome and don't be a dick to moving shows and letting the wwe dictate who can appear on the show...who can wrestle who....and who is allowed to win against who......

 

The same Progress who decided to move into Manchester and booked a venue another company was successfully running. 

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8 minutes ago, chokeout said:

The same Progress who decided to move into Manchester and booked a venue another company was successfully running. 

Which company was this? Not attempting to come off like a dick, just can't think off the top of my head who was running the Ritz before them.

Agree completely with @LaGoosh as well. You look at their recent cards and there isn't a single engaging storyline, wrestler or match on them. Not one. After building themselves up as a company who relied on characters and storytelling, they've very seamlessly turned into another company with matches for the sake of having matches. Absolutely nothing to differentiate the matches or segments from one another. 

Edited by AdamTH17
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1 minute ago, AdamTH17 said:

Which company was this? Not attempting to come off like a dick, just can't think off the top of my head who was running the Ritz before them.

Don’t come off like a dick at all, buddy. HXC has been holding shows there for a year and were drawing about 500-600 people by their last show there. 

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1 hour ago, chokeout said:

Don’t come off like a dick at all, buddy. HXC has been holding shows there for a year and were drawing about 500-600 people by their last show there. 

Yeah, I saw Mike from HXC at a PCW show, just before Progress ran the Ritz. It completely fucked him over and there was no way he was gonna find another venue in Central Manchester.

Gutting actually, Mike took me to my first show in exchange for me and my buddy working the Extreme Central stall at a Broxbourne FWA show. 

Does anyone know if he's still around the business?

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WWE signing up all the talent in near enough one go cleared out a lot of the guys who were the draws on the BritWres scene. A lot of shows were now main evented by mid carders or Will Ospreay and people couldn't be arsed with that. They wanted people they know but unfortunately, there aren't any anymore.

Everyone knew it was going to happen. It was the territories in the 80's all over again.

Quite a few people I know lost interest in PROGRESS when they basically signed on the be an NXT feeder system. One of the main reasons being that it felt like they were turning their backs on the whole original ethos of the company, as well as getting the feeling that NXT UK was their number one concern now and running PROGRESS was the last thing on their mind and basically forgotten about.

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PROGRESS - "Punk Rock" Pro Wrestling.

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Jim Smallman was trying to get a writing job with WWE way before he ever started his own promotion. He’s always wanted this, he just started milking the “you’re not my real dad, Vince” wankers when it seemed WWE wasn’t gonna happen for him. And as it turned out, Vince IS your real dad, Progress fans.

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